Monday, February 20, 2006


THERE'S a bit of excitement across the water on Arran where the young distillery’s 10-year-old single malt will be in the shops in the next few weeks. Managing Director Douglas Davidson said: "They say that the best things in life come to those who wait. If that is true, then we are indeed fortunate." He said there’d been a ‘hugely positive response’ to the new baby from European distributors, with encouraging forward orders from Canada and the USA. Price has still to be settled but Royal Mile Whiskies are offering a 10th Anniversary Decanter for £80.95. The whisky is non-chill filtered, bottled at 46%, and the decanter is limited to 1200 bottles.

Arran is keen to get involved with Glasgow's Whisky Club and has offered to host a tasting for us in Glasgow.Usually this involves something from the Robert Burns collection, the Arran 7 and now the 10, along with two cash strength expressions, often one from a sherry cask, and the new cask finished in a red wine barrel, in this case the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

One or two like-minded souls are keen to make a day of it and head over to Arran for a tour round the distillery and a tasting there. It would be an all-day outing, but absolutely do-able. Your committee will take some soundings and keep you in touch.

Meanwhile, Ian Macleod Distillers, parent group of our principal sponsor Glengoyne, has just launched a whisky aimed, it says, at the modern drinker. Smokehead is an unashamed in-your-face dram, which the company describes as ‘a cannonball’!

“Unlike some contemporary whisky brands that have appeared recently on the market, Smokehead is not a subtle flavour,” said Iain Weir, Head of Marketing. “It is a heavily peated Islay single malt scotch whisky of the highest quality.”

It’s described as an explosive rollercoaster of peat, smoke and spice with some delicate sweetness. The single malt flavour is said to be fresh, fruity and immense, with notes of sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt. The taste hits the palate at once with cocoa, peat and some honey sweetness, before exploding with peppery spice and more earthy peat.

The launch is being supported by a full sales and marketing programme which will include its own website ­ at

It's available at a shade under £20

Elsewhere, if you’re a fan of Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch, you can now purchase them online. The company’s new shop has just opened, within it you will find a full range of malts as well as a wide selection of gifts and merchandise, all at competitive prices.

New site features in the future will include on-line booking and reservations for the company’s new Bowmor
e Distillery Holiday Cottages (check out the distillery cottage link on the Bowmore website), Bowmore and Glen Garioch films, image download library, and special promotions for Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch.

AND FINALY ... Just over a week to go before the Highland Park tasting and as you know from Alex, it’s a sell-out. We’ve managed to squeeze in an extra couple of souls, but we may have to give consideration to other, slightly larger venues for future ‘signature tastings’.

Slainte Mhath

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